December’s Buzz

“’Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31)

My prayer for this holiday season is that you find the One who came so long ago, born in a manger.  Satan would love to fill our calendars with things to do, people to see, “important” tasks to complete, but this is not what the Lord had intended when we remember the birth of His Son. 

Carve out time to read or re-read the Real Christmas Story (Luke 2) this Christmas season. Then if you have some extra time, grab something hot to drink along with a warm blanket and may I suggest one of these books below? 

Robin Jones Gunn has a wonderful Christmas book to help you get into the true meaning of Christmas. Neta Jackson helps us remember the ones who are homeless and may not be celebrating Christmas like the rest of us. Megan DiMaria, gives us a humorous look at having teenagers during the Christmas season. Susan Meissner reminds us of many who lost their lives professing the name of Jesus.  Lauraine Snelling will grab your heartstrings with her must read book; everyone needs to be an organ donor. And if you are looking for a great devotional for this upcoming New Year, Tammy B Melton has one that will tantalize each one of your senses.  I highly recommend each one of these books!

I pray you and your family have a Merry Christmas.  See you in 2009!

Engaging Father Christmas
By Robin Jones Gunn
155 pages

Miranda Carson returns to England with hopes of a possible engagement to her boyfriend, Ian.  Miranda spent her childhood longing for a place to call home and she is hoping Carlton Heath will be it.  Miranda, who grew up not knowing who her father was, recently found out she was the daughter of a Sir James Whitcomebe.  Shortly after Miranda arrives in Carlton Heath, Ian receives a call that his father has had a heart attack.  Suddenly all the plans that Miranda and Ian had were put on hold.

Miranda is who is trying to find her place in her new found family, the Whitcombe’s.  Being the illegitimate daughter of Sir James Whitcombe, the Whitcombe family is trying to adjust to this new family member.  

Robin Jones Gunn does it again!  She captivates you with a story, while showing you the heart of Christ.  This wonderful Christmas book will lead you to the arms of Father Christmas.  If you need an excellent Christmas book to get you into the true meaning of Christmas, be sure to pick up Engaging Father Christmas.  Run, don’t walk to read this book this Christmas season.


Where Do I Go?
A Yada Yada House of Hope Novel
By Neta Jackson
Thomas Nelson
370 pages

If you are a fan of Neta Jackson’s Yada Yada book series, you are going to love her new book.  Gabrielle’s husband Phillip was offered a job of a lifetime, but to pursue it they have to move to Chicago and away from everything familiar.  Living in a penthouse on Chicago’s lakeshore, Gabrielle had everything she could ever wish for material wise, but at the same time her marriage was falling apart.

While walking along Chicago’s lakeshore, she has a chance encounter with a homeless woman.  Through this homeless woman Gabrielle is introduced to a woman’s shelter needing a program director.  Gabby has finally found what God had in mind for her all along.  What Gabby was not prepared for is her husband’s ultimatum to either quit her job or get out!  Where does one turn, when every thing is taken away from you? 

This book opens the reader’s eyes to the wonderful work many homeless shelter workers perform.  Neta Jackson also reminds us life does not always have the “happily ever after” we dream of.  When everything is taken away from Gabby she remembers a song she recently learned, “Where do I go when there’s no one else to turn to? . . . I go to the Rock I know that’s able, I go to the Rock.”


Out of Her Hands
By Megan DiMaria
326 pages

As a parent we all have dreams of how life is going to be like when are kids are older.  What if those dreams are all blown out of the water?  Out of Her Hands is a humorous book of a mother struggling with the less than perfect future daughter-in-law her son brings home. 

Linda Revere’s son, Nick, brings home his dream girl, Amber.  Unfortunately Amber is not what Linda had been praying for, for her son.  Linda feels like she is losing control of everything around her.  Linda is still recovering from the loss of her mother-in-law, whom she was very close to.  At the same time, juggling her job as the manager of a successful photography studio, and being mother to her two children who are in the midst of romance.  She finds herself turning to her best friend during this time only to learn her friend will be moving away.  Linda learns when everything is spinning out of control God is still in control. 

For a Mom with a teenage son, I found the book hilarious.  It is also a great reminder that God’s will for our kids is not necessarily the plans we, as parents, have envisioned. 

The Shape of Mercy
By Susan Meissner
Waterbrook Press
305 pages

Lauren Durough is a daughter of privilege.  She grew up with the knowledge that her father has longed for a son and therefore she did everything she could to distance herself from her family’s wealth.  She bucked tradition and went to a state run college instead of a prestigious university.  Being tired of her father’s handouts, she decided to seek outside employment.  As an English major she pursues an advertised position as a transcriber for an elderly, retired librarian.

Lauren meets with her potential employer, Abigail Boyles, to interview for the position.  She finds that the job entails transcribing a diary written by late Mercy Hayworth, a woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials.  Mercy, Lauren and Abigial’s lives are changed forever through the journey of the transcription.  Learning to see other through the Father’s eyes is the beginning of seeing mercy. 

I could not put The Shape of Mercy down after I read the first page.  Each of the three women taught me a valuable lesson.  This book will warm your heart while making you want to dig deeper into history.

One Perfect Day
By Lauraine Snelling
303 pages

Nora Peterson’s twins are seniors in high school and she has planned the perfect Christmas for them.  Christi and Charlie are fraternal twins with the invisible bond that many twins experience.  Christi is budding artist and during this holiday season Charlie is playing one of Santa’s elves.  The holiday season is moving perfectly until a tragic accident shakes the Peterson’s home and threatens to overwhelm them.

Jenna Montgomery is a single mother who works as an emergency room nurse.  This Christmas season she only has one wish, finding her daughter a new heart.  Jenna’s daughter Heather has been living with a weak heart and becomes weaker each passing day.  Right before Christmas, God gives them the miracle they had been praying for, a new hope for life.

I did not think I would enjoy One Perfect Day as much as I did.  When you predict what is going to happen it takes some of the anticipation out of a book, but Lauraine Snelling kept me on the edge of my seat with each turning page.  My heart broke, my heart rejoiced!  It was a difficult book to read, especially being a mother of teenagers myself, but Lauraine Snelling has shown once again that God can handle whatever we have to dish out.  God never leaves us, especially during the darkest times and sometimes when God answers our prayers, he not only answers them but blows our minds.

Loving God with All Five Senses
By Tammy B Melton
231 pages

If you are looking for a good devotional style book, Loving God with All Five Senses is a great one to consider.  Each devotional begins with an introduction to that day’s topic, then there is a “Going Deeper” section and concludes with a time in prayer.  Tammy Melton leads us through loving God with our sense of taste, our sense of touch, sense of sight, sense of hearing, and even our sense of smell.   Loving God with all Five Senses helps the reader draw closer to God.

Tammy Melton is a speaker, author, and the founder of Legacy Ministries for Christ.


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